Members of the public who would be impacted by a potential rate increase by Big Rivers Electric Corporation have opportunities to speak out this week. The Kentucky Public Service Commission is holding meetings in Owensboro and Henderson, and a chance for Brandenburg residents to link via video conferencing.
The Henderson-based Big Rivers wants approval for a rate adjustment that will raise $74.5 million dollars in increased revenue. The possible 20 percent increase would account for an extra $24 per month for the average customer. Industrial customers would see nearly 17 percent rate increases.
The utility says most of that new revenue is needed to offset the loss of the Century Aluminum smelter in Hawesville, which will cease to be a Big Rivers client in mid-August. Big Rivers provides power to a region extending from Meade County through Owensboro and Henderson and into Paducah in far western Kentucky.
The Public Service Commission will hold two meetings this Thursday for public comments on the proposed rate hike. The first is at South Middle School in Henderson at 1 p.m., and the second will be at the Owensboro Community and Technical College that evening at 5:30.
Big Rivers customers in the Brandenburg area can watch the Owensboro meeting via a video-conference at Meade County High School starting at 6:30 p.m. eastern.
The 20 year old Summit Golf and Country Club is for sale through sealed bid offerings, according to a report by the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.
The Summit Drive property, which is still in good shape and and still operating, was shown last week to prospective buyers with another preview scheduled for June 26th. The broker for the sale, Hilda Allen, says qualified buyers can submit a sealed bid which will be opened in private with the seller on July 17th. The owner has the right to accept or reject the offers.
A lawsuit filed against TJ Samson Community Hospital in Glasgow seeks to seat a new board of trustees at the hospital.
The Bowling Green Daily-News reports the suit was filed Thursday in Barren Circuit Court by Warren County attorney Alan Simpson. The suit claims that the original agreement incorporating the hospital in 1926 called for a board of trustees to be elected by those who had contributed more than $25 to the establishment of the hospital.
Those suing say a change to the articles of incorporation in 1968 disenfranchised those original shareholders.
An attorney for TJ Samson says the lawsuit is baseless and without merit, adding that the way the governing board is selected has never before been challenged.
A group of Barren County citizens has mobilized to challenge recent changes at the hospital, including a 2011 decision that only one corporate member, TJ Regional Health, would act and vote through its board of directors. The lawsuit says the for-profit TJ Health Partners was later formed and is thought to be a subsidiary of TJ Regional Health.
Many local doctors’ practices have recently been purchased by the Health Partners, a growing trend nationally as the health care environment undergoes fast changes.
Kentucky’s two U.S. Senators are upset that an industrial hemp measure will not be a part of a farm bill taken up next week. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul both say they will vote against the measure, calling it “regrettable” that different amendments including the Senator’s hemp addition won’t be considered.
The amendment supported by the Kentuckians would have exempted hemp with 0.3 percent less of THC from the list of banned drugs prohibited by the federal government. THC is the psychoactive compound present in marijuana that creates a high when the drug is smoked.
In a joint statement, Senators McConnell and Paul said they weren’t giving up on getting industrial hemp legalized, and would look at other ways to get federal law changed.
The actions follow this year’s vote by Kentucky lawmakers to create a regulatory framework for hemp production if the federal government legalizes the crop.
Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has made hemp legalization his number one legislative priority, and led a bi-partisan group to Washington D.C. in May to lobby lawmakers, White House officials, and others on the issue.
All lanes of I-65 southbound in Bullitt County have been reopened following Thursday morning's wreck involving a semi and a car.
Update at 10:28 a.m.:
I-65 southbound was closed around 8 a.m. at Mile Point 105 in southern Bullitt County due to a crash involving a semi and a car. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says that the middle and right (outside) lanes are currently open, allowing traffic to funnel through at a slow pace.
The left (inside) lane remains closed. Earlier rains have subsided allowing cleanup to progress at a quicker pace.
A Kentucky State Police spokesman confirms investigators have received at least 10 tips since their appeal to the public Tuesday regarding the murder of a Bardstown police officer.
Jason Ellis was shot to death May 25 after getting out of his crusier to pick up tree limbs along a Bluegrass Parkway exit in Nelson County. KSP this week asked anybody in the region who had trees trimmed or removed to contact law enforcement.
KSP spokesman Norman Chaffins says the limbs found at the murder scene were not from trees near the exit ramp.
Ellis was shot to death with a shotgun after he got out of car at 3 a.m. on the morning he was killed. According to the Courier-Journal, investigators believer the shooter placed tree limbs on the exit ramp, then waited on a hill above the ramp.
Chaffins says the cruiser Ellis was driving did not have a camera, and police know of no witnesses to the incident.
Anyone with information about Ellis' murder is asked to call the KSP at 270-766-5078.
The Henderson Gleaner reports that United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts was one of 14 people arrested at Tuesday's rally in Henderson featuring current and former coal miners.
The group was arrested after staging a sit-down in the middle of the intersection at First and Main Streets following the 90 minute rally at the Henderson County courthouse.
The Gleaner estimates a crowd of around 2,000 showed up for the rally against recent actions by Patriot Coal Corp. Patriot announced it was cutting pension payments to thousands of retirees, something upheld last week by a federal bankruptcy judge.
Miners and their supporters accuse Patriot's parents companies, Peabody Energy Corp., and Arch Coal, of spinning off Patriot and shifting the pension packages of former workers to the new company, knowing it would eventually go bust.
A soldier stationed at Fort Campbell has been killed in Afghanistan.
The Department of Defense said Tuesday that 39-year-old Warrant Officer Sean W. Mullen of Dover, Del., died June 2 of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
The attack was at Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan.
Mullen was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Fort Campbell.
Kickoff time has been set for WKU’s season-opening football game versus Kentucky.
The Hilltoppers will open their 2013 campaign on Saturday, August 31, at 6 p.m. at L.P. Field in Nashville.
The contest will mark the first games for both teams’ head coaches—Bobby Petrino at WKU and Mark Stoops at Kentucky. The Wildcats will be looking to avenge last season’s overtime loss to WKU in Lexington.
Land agents are in Kentucky trying to secure easements for a proposed interstate natural gas liquids pipeline that would go through an estimated 18 counties. And residents of some of those counties are gearing up for a potential legal battle over pollution and safety concerns.
The proposed Bluegrass Pipeline announced by companies in Oklahoma and Texas would connect natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia with export centers on the Gulf Coast.
One proposed path of the pipeline would extend through northern Kentucky southward into Nelson, Larue, Hardin, Meade and Breckenridge counties. Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts had scheduled a meeting with company officials and the public that was to be held Tuesday morning, but the company cancelled, citing an illness and the need to resolve issues related to the pipeline’s potential route through Ohio.
Mary Ann Chamberlain, a Nelson County native whose family owns property in the county, told the Courier-Journal that the proposed route would cut through scenic and sensitive areas of the commonwealth and could break apart and pollute surface and groundwater.
A spokesman for one of the natural gas companies says hundreds of property owners in Kentucky will likely be approached in the coming months with requests for access to survey their land and possibly buy easements along the proposed pipeline path.